MarTech Interview with Josh Dorward, Managing Director at Cloudinary

Josh Dorward, Managing Director at Cloudinary and (former CEO/Co-founder at Indivio, acquired by Cloudinary) takes us through Indivio’s journey and takeover while sharing a few thoughts on the growing use of video in B2B:

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Welcome to this MarTech Series chat Josh, tell us more about your journey through the years and what inspired your previous platform, Indivio?

Indivio was inspired by a desire to move the visual storytelling medium forward and redefine how brands connect with audiences using video. My co-founder and I had just had this experience working with mass-customization software technology and professional creatives at the leading customized product and design marketplace, Zazzle.com. We could tell that the seismic shift in how video was being consumed – from broadcast distribution on television to individualized distribution on mobile devices – would have familiar mass-customization workflow implications for video post-production and we set out to create cloud-based tools that would reduce the friction of editing and rendering professional-quality videos at scale. We realized pretty quickly that just being able to render videos at scale wasn’t enough to deliver a differentiated experience and it was when we started working with Meta on making video ads more relevant and connecting creative and media workflows that things began to take off. Fast-forward through YCombinator and earning a Meta Business Partner Creative Platform Badge by helping some of the world’s best brands and agencies launch innovative high-performing campaigns and it’s been really gratifying to see the market, our partners and clients realize the benefits of more relevant and personalized visual media. In Cloudinary, we’ve found an incredible company that shares our passion for video and we look forward to taking our vision to the next level together as part of the Cloudinary family.

Tell us about the acquisition and how Indivio will be integrated into Cloudinary to enable end users with better video marketing tactics?

Indivio has always put the quality of the creative experience first and one of the things we learned while running the business is that truly scaling the creation of personalized visual media experiences requires end-to-end automation across the entire production and post-production workflow. What’s incredibly exciting about joining Cloudinary is that all of the pieces are now together in an immediately differentiated solution.

Cloudinary is already the go-to solution if you need automation for end-to-end visual media ingestion, management, delivery and optimization. Indivio extends Cloudinary’s automation capabilities to now support the personalized, dynamic, and video-first visual media experiences that enterprise creative and marketing teams need to deliver, on-time and at scale. With our unique offering being integrated into Cloudinary, modern marketing teams will be able to:

  • Scale the volume and frequency of on-brand creative content without overburdening creative teams.
  • Activate content in dynamic templates from a variety of sources, including live product detail pages, to automatically create highly relevant and personalized videos
  • Streamline creative onboarding with support for industry-standard tools like Adobe After Effects®.
  • Accelerate time to launch dynamic video campaigns with end-to-end creative customization and ads automation.

What are a few predictions you have in mind for the growth of video in B2B marketing?

Video has reshaped the way we consume content and is arguably the most important marketing medium for brands. We were seeing a rise in appetite for video before COVID, and the pandemic only accelerated demand. Today brands across all industries use video to better engage with their audiences.

This year we’ll start to see B2B video usage steadily increase. In fact, today more than half (59%) of executives say they would prefer to interact with video rather than static images. In the same vein, just how personalized ads, user-generated content (UGC) and augmented reality have become a focus area in the consumer space, we can expect B2B marketers to start to leverage these tactics too.

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What do you feel will dominate video marketing trends through the year?

The biggest trend in the video space we’ll see this year will be the infusion of Artificial Intelligence (AI) into all aspects of creative design and optimization.

We’ll start to see more marketers utilize AI to create content that specifically engages the user by taking personalization to the next level. AI has the ability to understand a user’s wants and needs. For example, what time they are more likely to engage with content, what product they are more likely to be interested in, which platform they are more likely to click through to the site on. All of this can help drive creative personalization and more relevant offerings to help brands drive engagement with their audiences.

How do you feel video trends will change in future, what shape will it take as this happens?

It’s important as a marketer to think about what message you want to get across and what is the best way to do it. Research shows that viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video compared to just 10% when reading text. However, with video you only have a few seconds to engage a user so the experience in those first moments is critically important.

Not enough bandwidth or a slow loading page can be the difference between a user engaging with your content and clicking off the page. To capture your audience’s attention, the visual experience needs to load quickly and the content you present needs to break through the noise. Personalization is a way to make your visual experience stand out among the noise and ensure your message isn’t lost to “content overload.” As video becomes more prevalent in the future we will see brands better understand how and why they need to be investing in the systems and processes to develop compelling visual media experiences that give their message the best chances for engagement.

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How can marketers optimize their video marketing tactics to lead to better ROI across the user journey?

Modern marketing teams are under enormous pressure to deliver ever-increasing amounts of branded content in order to meet the expectations of audiences in a rapidly changing media landscape. Yet without the right tools it’s impossible for brands to create these visual stories at scale, deliver the personalized experiences audiences expect and achieve expected ROI. With Cloudinary’s world-class media science technology and Indivio’s end-to-end automation capabilities for creatives and marketers, modern marketing teams are now empowered to create and deliver compelling visual media experiences, wherever their audiences are engaged.

Personalization and testing, enabled by creative automation, are key tactics that modern marketing teams can use to improve ROI across the customer journey – whether it’s improving cost per acquisition, conversion rates, or post-sales support metrics. Customizing content to be relevant is itself a time-consuming and expensive process, but how do you know if your strategies are working? Testing with customized content adds yet another production volume requirement to overworked creative teams, making it impossible to test and deliver these relevant experiences at scale. Thankfully, creative automation technology that dramatically reduces the friction of editing and rendering videos, together with direct integrations into dynamic formats on paid and owned media, makes testing and learning with personalization truly accessible. This opens the door to a new era of relevant visual media experiences that will define the near future of how brands connect with audiences.

We’d love to hear a few thoughts on your views on the global martech industry and predictions for 2022!

More brands will start to experiment with and implement shoppable videos in order to compete, connect and convert in 2022. With demand for video content on the rise and social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels implementing shoppable videos, users will be able browse product details, make purchases, and otherwise engage with the visual media experience on these publisher platforms. According to Cloudinary’s latest State of Visual Media report, from January 2019 and through the spring of 2021, video usage on our own platform doubled from nearly 7% to 13%. The power of video is only growing and we expect the rise in demand to continue. As a result, shoppable videos will climb up the priority list as brands start to use them more frequently to meet customers where they are spending time and to create more meaningful interactions that increase conversions while also unlocking valuable user engagement data.

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Cloudinary’s mission is to empower companies to deliver visual experiences that inspire and connect by unleashing the full potential of their media. With more than 50 billion assets under management and 7,500 customers worldwide, Cloudinary is the industry standard for developers, creators and marketers looking to upload, store, transform, manage, and deliver images and videos online.

Josh Dorward is the Managing Director of Creative Automation at Cloudinary, joining through the acquisition of Indivio. As co-founder and CEO of Indivio, Josh envisioned and led a pioneering video personalization platform backed by Y Combinator and the Facebook Marketing Accelerator that empowered global ad clients and their agencies with innovative and dynamic visual media campaigns. Josh got his start with personalization and mass-customization serving in sales and product roles at Zazzle.com, a leading customized product and design marketplace.

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